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Sunset Ridge 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a AI1-2

   
Type:  Trad, Ice, Alpine, 9000', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a AI1-2 Steep Snow [details]
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Page Views: 546
Submitted By: John Peterson on Feb 5, 2017

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The steep snow on the first part of the ridge.

Description 

Disclaimer: this is based on a 1979 ascent so conditions may be different.

This excellent route climbs the ridge above the Sunset Amphitheater. Spectacular views and solitude await.

From the west side road, climb the ridge past Tokaloo Rock. We went up the ridge above and then traversed left in a flat area across the Puyallup and S. Mowich glaciers to a good bivi below the ridge at around 8500'

The route is obvious from here - climb steep snow up the face of the ridge until you reach the ridge proper. Our main obstacle was a short "rock" section featuring the loosest rock I've ever had to deal with. Other than a long sling around a big boulder sticking out of the ridge there wasn't anything you could really call pro. We belayed without an anchor astride the ridge - every time you shifted weight you would sink deeper into the ridge.

Once you regain snow, the angle eases and you're on mellow ground to the top of Liberty Cap. There were spectacular nieve penitente on this last part which made progress slow.

If conditions have exposed more rock, prepare for some serious looseness. It was mostly volcanic mud with cobbles.

Location 

The west side of Rainier

Protection 

Some slings and maybe a few cams?


Photos of Sunset Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting into the nieve penitente
Getting into the nieve penitente
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the ridge from above Tokaloo Rock.
Looking up at the ridge from above Tokaloo Rock.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset over Liberty Cap.  We bivied on the summit.
Sunset over Liberty Cap. We bivied on the summit.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking back at the crux area of exposed rock
Looking back at the crux area of exposed rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking across Sunset Amphitheater to Tahoma Glaci...
Looking across Sunset Amphitheater to Tahoma Glaci...

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